HBO NOW standalone streaming service debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-month free trial

Apple TV HBO Now

HBO’s new standalone streaming service called HBO NOW has officially launched on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HBO NOW allows subscribers to watch the premium network’s movies and TV shows online. The service is similar to Netflix as it’s delivered over a high-speed Internet connection rather than cable or satellite and doesn’t require long-term committments through contracts. Here’s how to get HBO NOW works:

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HBO NOW is available at launch exclusively through the App Store and Apple TV. This means movies and TV shows can be watched through the channel with the HBO NOW app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or on your HDTV with a connected Apple TV using the HBO NOW channel. Once you subscribe to HBO NOW through Apple from any of those devices, you can also watch content online through with your Mac or presumably any other PC.

HBO NOW differs from HBO GO, which has long been available on the App Store, Apple TV, and web. NOW subscribers pay a platform partner like Apple a monthly access fee, while GO is HBO’s complementary streaming service available to cable or satellite subscribers that pay for the HBO package as an add-on service.

The Apple TV channel for HBO NOW is a separate channel from the previously available HBO GO channel. Accessing the channel prompts you with a 1-month free trial offer. an HBO ID is created based on the email address you choose. After the free trial, iTunes will bill you monthly for $14.99.

After you create an HBO NOW account and start the service, you can view HBO NOW online from your Mac at HBO NOW can be viewed from multiple devices for viewing simultaneous streams.

Original series available on HBO include popular shows like Game of Thrones, Girls, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Real Time with BIll Maher, Silicon Valley, Veep, and VICE. HBO also features dozens of recently released movies and a large catalog of other popular movies.

The standalone subscription to HBO NOW goes for $14.99 per month, and Apple is providing a 1-month free trial to new subscribers at launch as part of the promotion. HBO NOW for Sling TV is coming while Optimum broadband subscribers can also order the standalone service through their Internet service.

HBO says the standalone subscription service will be available from more partners on more platforms (presumably Android) in the future. The HBO NOW channel is available on the latest Apple TV, and the HBO NOW app is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch through the App Store.

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  1. Jonny - 8 years ago

    So how does the live tv part of this work? Only certain shows are live? It’s only live during certain times?

    • Jonny - 8 years ago

      Or did I misunderstand this whole thing and it’s not actually live, ever.

    • David Krug - 8 years ago

      “New episodes of original programming and theatrical films will become available on HBO NOW at the same time that they premier on HBO. Live programming has a delay on HBO NOW just like on HBO GO, but is added as quickly as possible, usually within hours of broadcast.”

      • So it’s not live then?

      • iSRS - 8 years ago

        That is the part I am most bummed about. You would think that, since they used MLB Media, who handles both MLB and WWE with Live events, they could add this in, too.

        I would argue it would be EASIER to “live” broadcast HBO programming. They could upload it and have it unavailable until 9 PM Eastern. Wouldn’t require having a live feed from Fenway Park uploading live.

      • I’d call it live. I can start watching GoT when it airs on TV in my local time. I want to test setting up my Apple TV with an EST setting to see if I can watch earlier. I can even fast forward to the end right at the beginning of the broadcast if I want and ruin it for everyone (but I never would). Are others not seeing the same results?

      • iSRS - 8 years ago

        Agree. For all intents and purposes, at least as far as GoT is concerned, it is live. Can start just prior to 9 eastern

    • Jeff (@Pragmatous) - 8 years ago

      TV is changing. The whole “live” thing is going away. It’s going away in favor of the much more intuitive play and pause as you want, when you want, where you want, and what you want. DVR’s will become like answering machines. Completely useless in todays world. Anyone not following this format will be put out of business.

  2. Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

    I assume this won’t be appearing on my 2nd gen AppleTV so until Apple releases new hardware, i’m all set.

  3. Jay Alan Babcock - 8 years ago

    Nice. I just upgraded to a Roku 3, so I have failed Tim Cook for not being a loyal enough Apple fan. Now, I do think that I can “cast” to the new Roku from my iPhone…so maybe I’ve got a workaround.

  4. Nils (@pointatmecom) - 8 years ago

    still does not work outside the US. even with an US itunes account. travellers and willing to pay customers overseas are excluded… seems that GoT will stay the most pirated show….

  5. McGroarty (@mcgroarty) - 8 years ago

    Looking at just the movie programming, what does the selection look like compared to Netflix? Is there much movie content that’s only found on HBO Now, and how does the selection compare to new rental releases?

    • bobyey - 8 years ago

      Just browse for your self. You can look without and account. Also all movies on HBO are an exclusive.

  6. Ron Cooper (@lacustrine) - 8 years ago

    Is it really a stand alone service on a macbook? On one hand, I keep reading that you can subsribe to HBO NOW and watch it through a browser on a laptop. Then on the other hand when I try to sign up I have to either already have broadband cable tv provider (I have internet, but no tv) or I have to download an app for an iOS device. Not watching GoT on my iphone! Does anyone know if this service is *truly* stand alone if you are viewing it on a Macbook?

    • bobyey - 8 years ago

      It is truly a stand alone application for your viewing. It is just provided currently by apple. So you have to sign up through and iOS device then hbo sends you an email, mine went to my junk box, and then you create a password and register to be able to log on to the web.

      • Robert Nixon - 8 years ago

        I’m pretty sure Apple has this thing called “iTunes” thats available on PCs and Macs alike. Why can’t people sign up through that instead of requiring an iOS device?

  7. Anthony Harris - 8 years ago

    Great idea…horrible price point. This should be $10 tops. $15 HBO, $9 Netflix, $8 Hulu…you’re paying half as much as cable, without the local channels, or variety (like ESPN, VH1, CNN, etc). And it’s not live? Look for that price to come down. But first, they want to extrapolate the data from their first subscriptions to give investors the confidence that HBO won’t lose when they piss the cable companies off. What we’re witnessing is the beginning of the end for traditional cable, and the beginning of à la carte “app” programming.

  8. prius3 - 8 years ago

    I wonder if it is avaiable anywhere in Europe, particularly in Germany. Or if we are left to dust as usual…
    I guess I will look later this evening laconically to my empty Apple TV list of channels…

    • Cristina Murray - 8 years ago

      It’s not available, unfortunately:( I just subscribed, and start browsing:((((( No video available for this region, even if I have an US region on itunes:( Hate this, I was so excited:(

  9. kushpatel21 - 8 years ago

    Is eveything else about HBO GO and HBO Now the same? In terms of content?

  10. philboogie - 8 years ago

    With the amount of non US readers it would be great if articles like this one include info on the availability outside of the US.

    • prius3 - 8 years ago

      Plus one.
      This and other similar websites – forget that there are quite big markets and users out there that are using the same exact products and technologies. And that a company like Apple, for example, will be more and more dependent on market which are not the USA.
      A more international cut to all articles would be appreciated. :)

  11. Virginia Saleh - 8 years ago

    works good on ipad but on my dell 2 in 1 on Internet site it freezes all the time shame i hope hbo now fixes the issue

  12. adelesamantha2015 - 8 years ago

    Great article Zac! :) For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your Apple TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

  13. jeanjoel - 8 years ago

    It’s silly not to offer the subscription on all platforms. I have a ps3 and I can’t subscribe to this product. Not well played. :)

    • iSRS - 8 years ago

      Silly? It is a three month exclusive deal, then open for any platform. Good news for you! Less than two months to go. And if you have any Apple device, you can sign up and watch in any browser, even on windows

  14. losbozos - 8 years ago

    I have hbonow & want to take it on the road I my iPad mini. Can I watch it thru a pc or TV.

    • iSRS - 8 years ago

      Through a browser yes. Not through TV (yet) unless you have Apple TV

  15. Joseph Menendez - 8 years ago

    I can’t get the app to work on my ipad mini…Is this app supported on the ipad mini?


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.